The NHL has added two new teams in the last five years... so what happens if a new team joins the pack? Let’s talk expansion teams and who deserves the next one.
If the NHL were to expand again, who should get the next franchise?
Peerless: Europe. The NHL played 32 preseason games and 28 regular-season games in Europe from 2007-11 and 2017-19. They were scheduled to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series, with preseason games in Germany and Switzerland, and regular-season games in Czech Republic, but that schedule fell victim to the COVID pandemic. The NHL has scheduled preseason games in Switzerland and Germany, and regular-season games in Finland and the Czech Republic in 2022-23. I imagine it would not be easy to place a team there, but I think it is a worthy pursuit.
J.P.: Well, definitely not Canada. Houston’s the biggest U.S. city without a team, and that would seem a decent spot considering regional rivals and travel, but there are enough teams in the Sun Belt already. Kansas City also seems like a decent spot to drop a team (though I’m still holding out hope that a certain club could get relocated there). So I say put a team in Hartford and make ‘em play in a shopping mall and wear Cooperalls. And for the love of all that is holy, bring back Brass Bonanza.
Bryan: Yeah, K.C. (Mo!) rules and would be a fantastic fit for an NHL franchise. They have an NHL-ready arena, a hockey history that dates back decades, and a readymade sports-crazy fanbase. That said, I’m going to disagree with you J.P.: I want to see a team back in Quebec City, and it really seems like if there wasn’t some unfortunate deflation of the Loonie exchange rate to the greenback around the middle of the last decade, giving a path to Vegas and Seattle, it seems like it might have already happened. Much like K.C. they’ve got the arena built and the fanbase that’s ready for a team to return home. Or maybe they should put a team up in the Yukon, that would be pretty funny.
Luke: I think Canada should get another team. Quebec would be a great add. Many mentioned Kansas City, which would be cool. Alaska would be a lot of fun but don’t think it would work logistically, that’s a lot of travel for one team or the other to get there.
We’ve had our say - now what do you think? Toss out some thoughts on the next expansion city in the comments below.